Teen Connection Examines Heroin Abuse and Prevention
March 16, 2014 Leave a Comment
Already this year, heroin has been at the center of two national news stories. The drug was in the headlines in January when Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin dedicated his entire State of the State Address to “the rising tide of drug addiction.” Again in February, heroin abuse caught the nation’s attention when actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from an overdose of the drug.
Dichotomous in scope, these two stories illustrate the widespread prevalence of heroin throughout the country, from rural Vermont to urban centers like New York City.
Wisconsin is no exception. Heroin has reemerged in small communities and big cities throughout the state and is wreaking havoc on young users. A survey by the Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team revealed 199 heroin-related deaths in 2012, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. In February, The New York Times reported from Hudson where seven people died from heroin overdose within eight months last year.
On Tuesday, Teen Connection on WPT will explore why teens and young adults are turning to heroin, and will share stories of how user behavior destroys families both emotionally and financially.
The live, call-in show allows teens across Wisconsin to connect with each other to learn from peer experiences and receive help from adult counselors. Teens can call in questions to 877-988-2888 or post questions to the show’s Facebook page.
On the show, former drug addicts will share candid stories of their heroin abuse, its effects and the steps to recovery. Adult experts will be available to offer guidance and answer all questions about heroin and other drug abuse.
State Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, whose daughter has struggled with heroin addiction, also will join the program to explain how the drug has affected his family and his politics. Nygren has authored several bills to prevent heroin abuse, including a measure that would bring regional treatment centers to underserved areas in Wisconsin.
Teen Connection airs statewide 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 on Wisconsin Public Television and Milwaukee Public Television. The program will be streamed live online at wpt.org/TeenConnection. Archived video will be available following the broadcast.
Heroin users can visit theflyeffect.com for facts about the drug, stories told by other users and for help. Wisconsin Public Radio’s six-part investigative report documenting heroin abuse and its effects across the state provides more information on the resurgence of heroin in Wisconsin.